Letter: Barrington blocks children from taking the bus

Posted 10/1/21

To the editor:

The School Department is hiding behind poor-policy in conflict with the needs of the community besieged by increasing rush hour traffic. 

The town is bisected by County …

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Letter: Barrington blocks children from taking the bus

Posted

To the editor:

The School Department is hiding behind poor-policy in conflict with the needs of the community besieged by increasing rush hour traffic. 

The town is bisected by County Road, a congested commuting artery to Providence that is not a safe walking or biking pathway for middle or high school students. By denying students access to bus transportation, the town puts more automobiles on the road and more school children walking and riding bikes. 

The distance-calculator that the town uses to determine eligibility, provided by the bus contractor, is also grossly inaccurate compared with actual measured distances and web-based Google maps, further keeping kids off the bus. Some buses are arriving at school nearly empty each day. 

Doesn’t it make sense to allow students holding a school identification card a seat on the bus? Since the bus stop locations are defined that should address concerns of boarding too close to the school. 

The safety problem is exasperated with the closing of the East Bay Bike Path crossing the Barrington River. This has forced even more pedestrians alongside County Road especially Barrington school-children living in the south end of County Road. One family there does not own a car and while there is a bus stop in front of their home they are denied access and forced to cross the busy County Road at the Sowams Road intersection at the height of rush-hour traffic only to board the City-Bus-#60 INBOUD that drops them off near the school but requiring a second “Hail-Mary” cross of the road. 

The situation will surely get worse. Bad weather with snow-laden and un-shoveled walkways poses even a greater hardship. And still a greater worry is riding the CITY BUS in a potential second wave of mist of a COVID epidemic alongside complete strangers. Can you imagine sending your children to school this way?  

Yet this still may be safer than walking (and crossing) the length of County Road to get to school. 

Let’s put safety first and let students ride the bus! 

David Brown 

Barrington

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